Thierica Equipment recently has taken its quest for quality and service to a new level with a 3,600 ft2test lab that will allow finishing professionals to validate paint application methods and develop new products. Located within Thierica’s 84,000 ft 2manufacturing facility, the new lab is designed to help facilitate technology advances.

Thierica’s new test lab contains two state-of-the-art painting robots, along with other sophisticated finishing equipment.


From the time it was established in 1945, Thierica Equipment Co., headquartered in Grand Rapids, MI, has always aimed to provide the finishing industry with high-quality, state-of-the-art finishing systems. From conveyors and spray booths to robotic turntables, ovens, air makeup systems, clean rooms, mask washers and complete turnkey equipment, each system the company designs is thoroughly tested in its factory against specific performance criteria. Any adjustments, reworks or refinements are completed before the customer signs off on the project and before the system is dismantled and match-marked for shipping. Systems are then installed by an experienced installation crew to ensure prompt, efficient startup with greater continuity. As a result of these efforts, the startup on a new Thierica system typically can be achieved in two weeks or less - a crucial time savings in today’s high-productivity environment.

Recently, the company has taken its quest for quality and service to a new level with a 3,600 ft2 test lab that will allow finishing professionals to validate paint application methods and develop new products. Located within Thierica’s 84,000 ft2 manufacturing facility, the new lab is designed to help facilitate technology advances.

“We recognized a need to work with emerging technologies and have created an R&D resource that we can offer to the finishing industry,” says Lou McGough, general manager.

State-of-the-Art Equipment

The new lab, which the company unveiled at an open house event on May 3, contains some of the most advanced equipment in the industry. Two state-of-the-art painting robots - the latest models from MOTOMAN and FANUC - allow users to evaluate firsthand the gains in quality, efficiency and productivity that can be achieved with robotic technologies. A Relac® paint recycling system (supplied by Brainflash, Osterreich, Austria) demonstrates how 90% or more of paint overspray can be directly reclaimed for reuse to dramatically reduce process waste and material costs. The lab also features a rotational open air plasma pretreatment system; an upgraded water wash booth design, which offers high efficiency in a small footprint; a bottom-mounted conveyor capable of handling up to 1200 lb; the latest air handling and abatement equipment; and advanced ultraviolet (UV) curing technologies. Additional equipment likely will be added in the future; McGough notes that the company has plenty of room to expand the lab based on customer demand.

Thierica plans to make the lab available to anyone in the finishing industry for an hourly fee, with discounts for companies that end up purchasing a Thierica system. “One of the primary benefits of the lab is that it allows companies to prove out a process before making the decision to invest in a machine or turnkey system,” says McGough. “Of course, if someone just wants to use the lab to process a small batch of parts or explore a new process, they can do that as well.”

A Partnership Approach

Thierica Equipment prides itself on its expertise in developing dynamic and creative finishing systems that are designed to provide the highest possible levels of productivity and efficiency. But according to McGough, it’s the service aspect of Thierica’s business - a “partnership approach” with customers - that sets the company apart from others in its field. With its new test lab, Thierica offers yet another facet of service to the finishing industry.

For more information about the new test lab, contact Dominic Zerilli at 616.292.8369 or dominic.zerilli@thiequip.com. The company’s website is at www.thiequip.com.